I have had quite a lot of Linux work recently which makes a nice change. When out at a clients premises earlier this week I got chatting to one of the employees who out of curiosity asked what it was I was actually doing with the server. To this I replied “installing Linux to act as a file server to share and backup all your data”. The response I got was “hey I thought Linux was dead – proper old school only for businesses or people who don’t have a lot of money”
I had the same response when talking to another “techie” person this week. He described it as “cheap and chearful IT” and “businesses only like it because it is cheap”. As you can imagine I totally disagreed with this. Even though I love working with Linux, as pointed out in a previous blog, I use whatever tools are available to me. So if Windows works it gets used. The same goes for Macs and Linux too. For small businesses though Linux has a lot to offer such as:
1. File sharing and backups
Linux file servers have less hardware requirements than their Windows counterparts meaning less outlay for the client. For instance you can set up a Linux file server on a computer with only 512Mb RAM. Try that with a Windows machine!! The software is also free so you don’t have to pay hundreds of pounds for licences either.
Linux file servers also require less maintenance. There is no antivirus software to monitor and less hassle with updates. You can basically install one and it will quite happily sip electric in the corner of the office with the minimum of maintenance for a very long time.
2. Linux Desktops
Now I would place a wager that most people reading this blog use a Windows system at work. Now there is nothing wrong with that at all but what happens when you have to upgrade your machine. Should you go for another Windows machine (Windows 8 maybe?) or can I temp you with another option – Ubuntu. Now there are literally hundreds of Linux desktop versions but I would suggest new users coming from a Windows environment could do a hell of a lot worse than trying Ubuntu. It is very easy to use and while yes there is a learning curve it is no worse than going from either Windows XP or 7 to Windows 8. With all Linux systems you also get the knowledge you will never get a virus too.
This is what your new desktop could look like with Ubuntu. Not so scary hey?
3. You are probably already using it
There is a good chance that if you own a smartphone you are already using Linux and that is because of Android. I bet you didn’t know that?
So to sum up depending on what your business requirements are – Windows, Linux or Mac might be better suited to what you need. Don’t count out Linux because it is “cheap and chearful” because setup correctly it can be a very powerful tool to help your business run smoothly.
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